Most people end up renovating their home at some point, whether to make it more modern and livable or to rent out or sell the property for a higher price. However, much of the time homeowners end up putting too much money into the remodels, and they never get their investment back. If you’re about to start work on your house, take steps to ensure you renovate wisely. Read on for some simple yet effective tips you can follow today.
Put a Budget and a Plan in Place
To ensure you don’t blow through your savings too quickly, it’s important to build a budget. This will help you stick to a set amount you decide in advance. It pays to create a budget that’s broken down into various types of payments. So, once you have your overall spending amount set, work out how much different aspects of the renovation will cost you. Make sure you factor in all expenses, including labor and materials.
Do your research to get accurate indications of each job involved, and if you end up with a total that is much higher than your preferred spending limit, think about what tasks are priorities and what can perhaps wait until a later date. Remember to add at least 10 percent of your budget as a reserve since renovations always come with surprise costs.
After your budget is complete, sit down and do some planning for the whole project. Do this before you start spending money on new purchases or on knocking down walls or hiring contractors. A plan will help you determine the order tasks need to be completed in. By taking some time to do this, you will save yourself time as well as money, energy and stress as the work proceeds.
Research What Will Add Value in Your Area
Don’t begin remodels until you have done plenty of research into what is and isn’t going to add value to your property. Lots of people overcapitalize on their homes because they don’t make the effort to learn this up front, and they end up spending money on unnecessary features or upgrades.
In each area, there are different types of buyers who are all looking for various features in the properties they buy. It’s important to try to suit the needs of the people who are most likely to be interested in your house. Consider whether this might be young couples, large families, retirees, singles, professionals or other occupants.
Look into recent sales in your area, go through open homes, analyze what kinds of features are and aren’t included in the properties, and see what price each one fetches (and how quickly it sells). Speak to real estate agents who specialize in your suburb to find out what they think buyers are particularly looking for, too.
Once you’re clear about features buyers will pay most for in your area, plan your renovations, investing your money into the most important rooms or elements. For instance, purchasers may be most interested in a large number of bedrooms or good outdoor dining space. They could require a separate home office or be looking for a pool. High-end fittings and fixtures and all the latest technological gadgetry may be popular, or people may instead look for simple family homes that can be rented for a good price.
Cut Costs on Labor and Materials
Look for ways to cut costs on labor and on materials. For example, if you have the skills, consider trying to do at least some of the work yourself, as this is a good way to save money. If you do need to hire tradespeople, always research firms carefully and get testimonials directly from their past clients. It helps to be referred to contractors from your family and friends rather than just picking anyone out of website listings. Always get prices in writing, and ensure that the people you hire are fully qualified.
When buying appliances and other items, look for specials online and in stores. However, do check the terms and conditions of any home warranty providers you use, as warranties may be void if you don’t purchase goods that are new or that were manufactured within a certain date range.
As for materials, you’ll save some money if you can re-use items already in the home and if you keep doors, windows, cupboards and other fixtures and fittings in standard sizes because this will mean you don’t have to pay more for customized goods